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Airbank Whale Shark Pro Rechargeable SUP Pump – Test and Review

Updated April 9th, 2024

airbank whale shark pro review

Manufacturer and Model: Airbank Whale Shark Pro
List Price: $129


Summary

The Airbank Whale Shark Pro is one of the few battery powered pumps out there that can inflate large 12’6″ inflatable SUPs to 20 psi when running on battery power. In addition, it has an innovative air hose storage method where the air hose wraps around the side. It makes a nice reasonable sized package that will fit in most inflatable SUP bags. It does have one flaw where the low to high pressure stages switch at too low a pressure. This adds some inflation time although the pump is still slightly faster than average.

What we liked:

  • Can inflate large 12’6″ paddleboards to 20 psi on battery
  • Can inflate many boards in a row on a single charge
  • Onboard storage for the 12 volt charge cord
  • Air hose is stored by snapping it around the pump case

What we didn’t like:

  • The pump switches from low pressure to high pressure mode at too low pressure causing it to cycle several times on some boards
  • LCD display is hard to read in bright light

Airbank Whale Shark Pro Product Image

Specifications

  • Max Pressure – 20 PSI
  • Inflation Speed Test – 7min 49sec
  • Inflate Multiple Boards – Yes up to 5
  • Size – 12.6″ X 7.7″ X 4.8″
  • Weight – 4.4 lbs
  • Battery – Yes 7500 mah

Airbank Whale Shark Pro Review and Test

Airbank sent us a Whale Shark Pro to review along with their new Puffer Pro pump. This is the second Whale Shark we have received. We get our first one a year ago and found several serious flaws in the design and declined to publish a review on it. This Whale Shark Pro seems to have addressed all our issues and has worked well for inflating big boards to 20 PSI. We feel comfortable now recommending it to our readers after using it for a couple of months to prove it out.

The best feature of the Whale Shark is that it is one of the few battery powered electric paddleboard pumps that can inflate boards to 20 psi. It is the only one we have tried so far that can inflate larger 12’6″ touring boards to 20psi without either running out of battery or self destructing in the process. If you need to inflate a big board to 20 psi and want a cordless battery powered pump that can do it. This is it.

ab whale shark what is included

2 – 20 PSI Max Pressure

The Airbank Whale Shark Pro is one of the few battery powered rechargeable electric paddleboard pumps that can inflate to 20 psi. It can do it reliably under battery power even for larger boards. I have been using it to inflate my Red Paddle Co Voyager 12’6″ touring SUP to 20 psi every trip to the lake since we got it. It has done it every time we have tried.

2 – 7500 mah Rechargeable Battery

The pump has an internal 7500 mah hour battery. This is bigger than the 6000 mah battery in the Outdoor Master Whale and SereneLife SLPUMP50. This means that it can inflate several boards in a row on a single charge. Even large boards that need higher pressure. We took our Red Paddle Co Ride and inflated it to 15 psi as many times as we could before the battery died. We were able to completely inflate the board 6 times.On the 7th time, it made it to 5.3 psi before shutting off.

6 – Speed (9.0/10)

We did our standard paddleboard inflation test with the Whale Shark Pro. We inflate a generic 10’6″ x 32″ all around paddleboard to 14psi. We inflate a 12’6″ x 32″ touring SUP to 15 psi and 20 psi. We time how long it takes. We use a 12 volt power supply for these tests to be consistent with all pumps we have tested.

It took the Whale Shark Pro 7 minutes and 49 seconds to inflate our 10’6″ all around board to 14 psi. Anything under 8 minutes is a fast time. We’ve never had a pump break the 7 minute mark yet. The slowest pumps have tried are over 10 minutes.

The Whale Shark does have one flaw that slows it down a bit. The transition from low to high pressure happens at about 0.4 psi. Most other 2 stage pumps transition around 1 psi. At 0.4 psi the board hasn’t taken shape yet and the pressure in the board can fluctuate as it opens up. This pump tends to switch back and forth between low and high pressure modes a few times before settling into high pressure mode. It does this on almost every board we have tried it with. This pump could probably shave 20-30 seconds off its time if it just had a 1 psi mode switch.

The pump took 9 minutes and 41 seconds to inflate the 12’6″ touring board to 15psi. It took 13 minutes and 13 seconds to inflate it to 20 psi. This is about average across all the pumps we have tested. The fastest pump (iRocker) can get it to 20 psi in under 12 minutes. The slowest pumps take over 14 minutes.

See the below table for a comparison of inflation times with all the pumps we have reviewed.

Electric Pump 10’6 x 32.5″ x 6″ All Around Board 12’6″ x 30″ x 6″ Touring Board 12’6″ x 30″ x 6″ Touring Board
14 psi 15 psi 20 psi
Outdoor Master Shark 2 8 min 40 sec 9 min 35 sec 13 min 1 sec
Outdoor Master Whale 9 min 22 sec 9 min 58 sec
Outdoor Master Cachalot 7 min 51 sec 9 min 23 sec 13 min 49 sec
Outdoor Master Dolphin 2 9 min 27 sec 11 min 23 sec 14 min 36 sec
iRocker Electric Pump 7 min 5 sec 8 min 32 sec 11 min 50 sec
NIXY Ventus 8 min 28 sec 11 min 15 sec 14 min 34 sec
Serenelife SLPUMP50 7 min 37 sec 9 min 7 sec
Serenlife SLPUMP30 8 min 12 sec 9 min 27 sec 14 min 20 sec
Serenlife SLPUMP10 11 min 32 sec 13 min 49 sec
Valwix Electric Pump 7 min 10 sec 8 min 48 sec 12 min 16 sec
Airbank Puffer Pro 7 min 27 sec 9 min 8 sec 12 min 48 sec
Airbank Whale Shark Pro 7 min 49 sec 9 min 41 sec 13 min 13 sec

7 – Multiple Boards (10/10)

The Whale Shark can inflate several boards in a row without overheating. According to Airbank it can inflate at least 5. We have inflated a board 6 times in a row to see how many we could inflate on one battery.

8 – Ease of Use (8.0/10)

This pump has 4 buttons for control. A power and start stop button, 2 buttons for raising and lowering target pressure. A 4th button for changing between PSI and Bar. Operation is easy.

The LCD display is just barely readable in bright light. It’s not as easy to read as a more simple gray and black LCD. The black LCD display looks cool. We would prefer a simple black and white LCD screen that was easier to read in all light conditions.

The pump can be recharged by using a power cord that plugs into the top of the pump or using a 12 volt cord that is stored in its own compartment in the back of the pump. It recharges much faster off of a 12 volt power source than from the 110 volt cord.

10 – Cord Storage (9/10)

The Whale Shark has one of the better air hose storage methods I have seen on a paddle board pump. It wraps around the edge of the pump and snaps into a groove. It doesn’t take up much space and you always have it with the pump. I wish more pumps would use this way to keep the air hose contained when not in use.

ab whale shark air hose storage

The bottom of the pump has a flip down compartment to hold the 12 volt cord that can be used to power the pump or for recharging.

ab whale shark cord storage

11 – Durability (8/10)

We have been using the Whale Shark almost exclusively to inflate our Red Paddle Co Voyager 12’6″ on every trip to the lake. We inflate that board to 20 psi. The Whale Shark has been doing it on battery power every time with plenty of power to spare.

The only performance issue we have with this pump is the low pressure that it switches from low to high pressure modes. This causes the pump to cycle back and forth between high and low pressure a few times during each inflation cycle before it settles into high pressure mode. This cycle switch is usually the first thing to fail on most of these pumps. This does give us some concern. We have been using the pump for several months now and it’s still going strong.

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

If you want a battery powered electric pump that can inflate a large board to 20 psi then the Airbank Whale Shark is a good choice. There aren’t a lot of battery powered pumps out there that can inflate a 12’6″ touring board to 20 psi on battery power. That is the stand out feature of the Whale Shark besides the well designed air hose storage that wraps around it.

Airbank Whale Shark Pro Product Image

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Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com